Kennedy discusses new Star Wars films
Kathleen Kennedy, the President of Lucasfilm, has been talking about the upcoming Star Wars films and saying a few things to keep the fans of the original films happy and critics of the previous three films hopeful for a return to form for the franchise.
Speaking at the Star Wars Celebration Europe event in Essen, Germany, she said what a lot of fans want to hear, gently distancing herself and the new Star Wars films from those first three in the franchise - and by first three I mean sequentially not historically. What she's saying sounds promising indeed.
The opening of the quotes could go either way when you read them, it could be setting us up for good or bad news, but it's great that Kathleen Kennedy is keen to address the issues straight up.
"The conversation we're having all the time now about 'Episode VII' is how much CGI..."
Well that was one of the problems that George Lucas brought to those first three films and as he revisited the others he also added too much CG. Where he began tidying things up and making them sharper, he ended up adding things in and changing things, acts which have become a common barb in three perfectly good films to begin with - well that does depend on your personal preference, for example I could do without the Ewoks, they're the slippery slope of his desire to show silly seemingly cute creatures and turn the series into a kid friendly merchandising dream.
Anyway, let me take a breath and calm down. The Hollywood Reporter quotes continue from Kennedy as she goes on to say:
"We're looking at what the early Star Wars films did; they used real locations with special effects. So [for 'Episode VII'] we're going to find some very cool locations, we're going to end up using every single tool in the toolbox."
Now while that sounds interesting but for me the problems were little to do with non-practical shot locations, but an additional quote captured through IGN suggests more of the right attitude.
"We have an amazing team at ILM, who can create fantastic effects, but if we don't have a great story and characters, the effects mean nothing."
Bang. There's the quote I was looking for. The problem for me with the first (sequentially again) three films is that they are weak in story and in characters, and any potentially positive characters are squandered and wasted. The effects don't really bother me compared to these issues and it sounds like that hasn't passed Kennedy and the new team either.
Is this new Star Wars going to turn to the old ways of doing things before Lucas' fingers got involved in the re-editing suite and with the CG team? It looks like there's going to be more of a focus on the story and that can only be good can't it?